31/10/2008

Sienna Claims 'Harassment Campaign' By Paps

British actress Sienna Miller claims photographers - bent on 'commercial exploitation' - have infringed on her human rights.

The movie star is taking legal action against one of the UK's top picture agencies, amid allegations of harassment and invasion of privacy.

Ms Miller claims paparazzi have refused to desist from taking her picture in highly dangerous situations.

Her life has been made intolerable because of a "campaign of harassment" led by Big Pictures (UK) photographers, according to the actress's legal team.

At the High Court yesterday, Ms Miller's lawyers launched legal action against Big Pictures boss, and media personality, Darryn Lyons.

Twenty-six-year-old Ms Miller, star of 'Layer Cake' and 'Alfie', instructed her legal team to take action under UK harassment and privacy laws.

Big Pictures and Mr Lyons have rejected the claims.

Speaking at a preliminary hearing, David Sherborne, representing Ms Miller, said the star has been caused "substantial alarm, fear and enormous distress" by the conduct of photographers.
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The actress has become a tabloid staple in recent years, drawing particular attention through her relationships with famous men.

Mr Sherborne told the court Ms Miller has endured "a campaign of harassment" since the end of June, which continued "despite requests to desist."

Her human rights have been violated as a result, he said.

Ms Miller was not in court, but her lawyer detailed instances when she was chased while driving, as well as suffering "other forms of physical and verbal intimidation or abuse in their attempts to obtain photographs of her for commercial exploitation".

The actress claimed harassment continued when she was abroad.

Judge Justice Eady said a trial should be heard on the first available date after January 12.

During a separate case, in February, Ms Miller explained in court how a "lunatic" photographer had chased her car across London after a night out.

The actress said she was trying to stop them finding out her new address, and described the chase as "frenzied".

She was giving evidence in defence of her ex-boyfriend's brother Otis Ferry, who was cleared of criminal damage by forcibly removing the keys from two photographers' cars.

(PR/JM)

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